Tesla Self Driving Could Eliminate Some Time-Consuming Service Center Trips

5 months ago by Eric Loveday 47

Tesla Service Center

Tesla Service Center

Self-driving, autonomous vehicles seem to be all the rage these days. Surely they have all sorts of benefits, but this one is often overlooked.

Tesla Store/Service Center In Dublin, California

Tesla Store/Service Center In Dublin, California

As Teslarati keenly observes:

“No more time-consuming trips to the service center for routine maintenance!”

The idea is that if your vehicle needs some simple routine maintenance (tire rotation, cabin filter replacement, fluid top ups, etc.), then the vehicle can simply drive itself to the service center while you’re at work when the appointment date is made.

The maintenance can then be performed and the vehicle drives itself back to your place of employ and is ready when you are.

Of course, this wouldn’t work for repairs required on an immobilized vehicle, but in most situations this could be how the future of routine service plays out.

Imagine never having to physically drop your car off for repair or having to wait for hours while the work is being done. Though this seems minor, for Tesla it could be a major perk. As Teslarati explains:

“This type of perk can be very important for owners who live a little further away from their nearest service center. My closest location is about 65 miles away in a direction I rarely travel. It’s not as if I can just swing by on my way home from work. A significant portion of my day would be spent driving there and back. Or even worse, there and back twice when using a loaner.”

With service centers few and far between in some ares in the U.S., this could be huge for Tesla, but it all depends on the passage of various state and federal laws, as well as the ability to incorporate and perfect the necessary tech. It may be some years off before we see our cars driving themselves to service centers, but it does seem likely that the day is coming.

Source: Teslarati

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47 responses to "Tesla Self Driving Could Eliminate Some Time-Consuming Service Center Trips"

  1. TM says:

    Or have the loaner car drive itself to you as well.

    1. Anon says:

      Not just the Loaner– but YOUR NEW CAR delivers itself, after you order and pay.

  2. Sam says:

    Just what we need an army of drone cars causing more traffic on our congested roadways. Reducing the 1.2 person, per car avg. even further…

    1. Stimpacker says:

      Congestion is mostly caused by slow drivers in the fast lane or a bunch of drivers going slow together side-by-side on multiple lanes. Fast drivers attempting to pass them will then make the congestion worse.

      AP will intelligently follow the speed of the lane the vehicle is in.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Traffic congestion is mostly caused by drivers in a slower (or stopped) lane of traffic competing — rather than cooperating — in pulling over into a faster lane, or two lanes of traffic merging into one, again with drivers competing rather than cooperating to be first into the line. In either case, cars traveling faster are forced to slow to the speed of the slowest vehicle in the lane.

        As you say, Stimpacker, self-driving cars will not exhibit such selfish and self-defeating behavior. Self-driving cars will actually cooperate to ensure better — and faster — traffic flow.

        In the future, self-driving cars won’t just be safer, they’ll actually get you there faster when traffic is heavy.

      2. Jason says:

        So while my car is driving itself to the service centre, I could care less about congestion. Just so long as it is capable to make this trip, I can be doing something else.

        If you also have an autonomous car, then hopefully you are doing something more to your interest while in congested traffic.

        If you are the type who “likes to drive”, then by all means, enjoy your congested driving conditions. They are there now and autonomous driving shouldn’t make it any worse. Same number of cars on the road, I was going to drive to the service in any case, not like it was not going to get serviced at some stage, is it?

    2. Roy_H says:

      And just how does a car without a driver cause more congestion than the same trip with a driver? Just because a driver has to be behind the wheel to go to the service center doesn’t mean he won’t go.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Oh, that’s terribly unfair of you to apply logic to the argument. 😉

      2. TX NRG says:

        Think about it. Your car drives itself to and from the service center. At the same time, you drive off to work or to run your errands using an alternate vehicle. You are then responsible for two vehicles on the road at the same time.

        1. Hari says:

          So, if you have to drive the car to the service center, you skip your errands? Is that how you think its better? That sounds more like an alternate logic from a different universe.

  3. JyBicycleOrTesla says:

    What happens when your car gets a flat/breakdown/accident on the way to the service center?

    Something sound so good on paper.

    1. Vexar says:

      Lawyers would eat this up… 1001 ways to lose your business without even trying. You need a human for liability purposes. Someone to sue

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      I see “JyBicycle” is making concern troll posts all over the place on InsideEVs today. Is it a bad day for TSLA stock shorters, hmmm?

      Breakdowns and flat tires will be dealt with by a service such as AAA, or a local tow service, just as they are now. (How many people actually change flat tires themselves on the road these days?)

      Accidents will be dealt with by police and/or tow services, just as they are today.

      Assigning liability in case of accident, when self-driving cars are involved, is something which will have to be sorted out by the courts. This will have to happen sooner or later, even if Tesla wasn’t pushing forward the tech of autonomous driving. So this may be presented by Tesla FUDsters as an issue specific to Tesla, but actually it’s not.

      1. JyBicycleOrTesla says:

        There you go with your FUDTESLA keyboard again.

        FYI, I’m too poor to short any stock. I’ve got my pennies with Vanguard. Is Vanguard one of those shorters?

      2. JyBicycleOrTesla says:

        Unless Tesla is paying for insurance, I’m not sending out my car without a witness.

        I know Kansas has like eight cars total and traffic means a four way stop. It’s different in major cities.

        1. Anon says:

          The car has 8 bloody cameras on it. It logs everything. The car itself, IS A WITNESS. 😛

          Concern Troll Mode Off, please.

          1. JyBicycleOrTesla says:

            Wow 8 camera and still no Blindspot monitoring?

            1. Nick says:

              Where is the blind spot? Straight up?

            2. Hari says:

              Where are you going with this? Blind spot is for people.

            3. Anon says:

              The cameras overlap, and the system uses Radar (which sees thru rain, snow, dust, etc.) and Ultrasonics.

              There are no Blindspots, other than the one in your mind.

              Is GM, Exxon or the Koch Bros. bankrolling your constant online FUDstering, ConcernTroll?

  4. Murrysville EV says:

    This day is very, very, very far off.

    Besides, who holds the liability for an empty car involved in an accident?

    If it’s the owner, there is NO WAY I’m sending my 4000-lb car on a self-driving adventure of its own.

    If it’s the mfr, no mfr will be stupid enough to own the liability.

    Will the car be smart enough to refuse free-loading passengers hoping to catch a ride an hour away?

    1. Roy_H says:

      I think liability is a big issue, and my personal opinion is that it has to rest with the manufacturer. If Tesla or anyone else thinks they can push this off to the owner, I think it would be thrown out of court. The owner does not have control over the AP software only the manufacturer.

      1. no comment says:

        the owner *would* be liable since the owner would be the one who set the instruction to have the car self drive. but you are correct, the car manufacturer would face liability also, and any attorney would sue both the owner *and* the car manufacturer.

        in the future there are going to be regulations placed on autonomous vehicles. it’s just that at present, tesla is ahead of the regulators. the boldness of tesla on this is difficult to overstate because my thinking is that at mainstream automakers, the legal department would have evaluated the legal risks and called unrestricted live beta testing a no-go because of the potential for liability to the auto manufacturer. in that regard, i suspect that tesla might have gotten ahead of its legal counsel as well.

      2. Jason says:

        This is certainly an interesting area of discussion, it will be interesting to see how it plays out.

        Are there any similar circumstances? I’m thinking maybe manufacturing where machines can be set on automatic and someone gets themself killed, was the manufacturer find culpable or was the user of the machine find culpable?

        I’m thinking software, like Windows. I’m sure there must be many examples where software was used that caused loss or injury, so was Microsoft sued because they provided Windows, and that platform allowed the circumstance?
        Fun times ahead.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Murrysville EV said:

      “…who holds the liability for an empty car involved in an accident? …

      “If it’s the mfr, no mfr will be stupid enough to own the liability.”

      That turns out not to be true. Volvo and Mercedes-Benz spokesmen have already stated that they will accept liability for accidents caused by self-driving cars. (See article linked below.)

      We can expect other auto makers to follow suit. Really, what’s the alternative? Who would buy a car from an auto maker which refuses to assume liability when there’s no driver in the car?

      If auto makers want people to buy self-driving cars, then they will have to accept liability when the car causes an accident and has no driver. Of course, we can expect the auto manufacturer to require that the owner maintain the car properly, and there likely will be some attempt to shift blame to the owner if it can be reasonably argued that the cause of the accident was lack of proper maintenance.

      http://blog.caranddriver.com/volvo-will-take-responsibility-if-its-self-driving-cars-crash/

      1. Murrysville EV says:

        “Who would buy a car from an auto maker which refuses to assume liability when there’s no driver in the car?”

        Exactly, and this is why I don’t believe autonomous vehicles will ever reach Level 4 or 5.

        I am very aware of the Volvo claim, but a) it’s foolish, b) it hasn’t been tested in court, and c) their system still expects a driver to be present.

        You can be sure Volvo will muster a team of lawyers when their self-driving car is involved in a fatality, and it will be their job to assign blame to the human, NOT the car. Volvo will not be keen to simply write checks for millions of unchallenged dollars in order to settle autonomous car lawsuits.

        It is in the courtroom that autonomous cars will reach their limit. And I believe this is why Apple and Google are backing away from directly producing self-driving cars. They have very deep pockets, and any prosecutor would love to see how much money they could win for their plaintiff in such a case.

        1. no comment says:

          as you suggest, one must read the fine print on any promises, but this offer from volvo is less generous than it may appear. if an accident happened in a volvo car that was engaged in autonomous driving, volvo would get sued anyway. the only issue would be the liability of the owner. since attorneys sue based on who has the “deepest pockets”, you can bet that any liability would be determined based on the assets held by volvo and not on the assets held by the owner. the suggestion that volvo might indemnify the owner in the event of an accident is merely a recognition that in any lawsuit, the primary target is going to be the auto manufacturer and not the auto owner.

      2. Someone out there says:

        I bet there will be a bible’s worth of fine print attached to that promise.

    3. Hari says:

      Rest assured, there will be laws passed soon enough to allow these cars on the roads with appropriate insurance. And there will be insurance companies happy to sell you those.

      You all sound like the owners of the cars take full responsibility of accidents now and go to jail.

  5. Bonaire says:

    Hold a sec.

    “They have all the benefits” – however.

    THEY DO NOT EXIST. There are no autonomous cars that would drive themselves anywhere, let alone out for service if called upon without a driver. This is currently work in progress but is simply science fiction and currently illegal in most states.

    1. Bonaire says:

      The point is – build better cars. Ones that don’t require service. For example my Volt has been in for service a few times. About 4 lifetime oil changes since mid-2012. I didn’t find that a problem. And I got to meet nice people one time who drove me to a conference I was attending (EV Tech Expo) and I thought I’d get an oil change. Are we really trying desperately to avoid people more and more? Autonomous will help make the club of “people who hate people” grow even larger. However, meetings of that club are seldom held.

      1. Aaron says:

        I’m trying to keep my LEAF out of the service area as long as possible. So far the only maintenance I’ve done is new tires. Oh, and removal of a bird feather from my HVAC blower motor. I like my car to be as appliance-like as possible when it comes to maintenance.

        1. Bonaire says:

          Doesn’t Nissan “require” brake fluid replacement every 25,000 miles? Supposedly due to moisture that could creep into the system.

      2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        “Are we really trying desperately to avoid people more and more?”

        Altho I certainly don’t want to deny the reality of your personal experience, Bonaire, at the same time, being trapped in the waiting room of an auto service center is, for me, one of life’s least pleasant experiences. Probably not much better than being thrown into jail. Personally, I’d be willing to do quite a bit to be able to avoid doing that ever again.

        So for me at least, that would definitely be among the more notable benefits of self-driving cars.

  6. DJ says:

    Ok, I just have to ask is this really a friggin story?

    What’s next, “Tesla self driving could eliminate time consuming kid pick up/drop off at school”… Talk about something that would be a hell of a lot more valuable!

    1. Bonaire says:

      Friend of mine mentioned that yes – this is a big issue with he and his wife. kids stay after school and no car-pooling system in place. This is generally a problem that a reasonably good regional car-pooling application and/or “people actually talking to each other” could solve. I car-pooled to my grade-school back in the 1970s with neighbors since we had after-school programs thru 5pm without late bus service. The right way to do it is join together to solve our problems. Not “buy new products and trust some software to do what we are responsible for”.

      1. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

        If people acted in the best interest of society overall there’d be bus services that the children could get home from school and wouldn’t need a car pool.

  7. Pet says:

    Test driving a new car may not be necessary

    1. Anon says:

      You still need to sit in it and see if it’s comfortable for you. Like, are they using enough high density FOAM in the seats, or using cheap springs, like certain other automakers… What’s the Infotainment system and onboard AI / GUI like? Easy to use and setup? Etc., etc.

  8. Dave S. says:

    I’m an avid cyclist. Usually around 10,000 miles a year. I’m not sure how I’m going to feel when cars no longer require drivers. I’m sure we’ll have some issues. I don’t want to worry about if the electronics see me. I do worry about the texting masses now. Still I don’t think anyone would want to be in traffic with a driverless car without a steel enclosure.

    1. Anon says:

      Computers don’t text. They don’t get distracted from their job. These systems have more “eyes” and other ways to sense their environment than today’s driver. They’re trained not to harm humans: walking, cycling or driving.

      You should feel happy, not concerned.

  9. Someone out there says:

    It would be even better if they didn’t need constant service to begin with.

    1. Someone out there says:

      Electric vehicles are supposed to require much less maintenance, this doesn’t seem to apply to Tesla.

      1. Anon says:

        Does echoing yourself make your concern / point more valid?

        No. We actually deduct points from it.

        1. Someone out there says:

          Who made you the king of this forum?
          I wanted to add something and since there is no edit button I made another post.

  10. Ocean Railroader says:

    Generally I prefer to go to the repair shop with the car to talk to them so they avoid weaseling in some unexpected fees.

    1. Jason says:

      Yes, I was thinking the same thing, but maybe they just call to discuss it, which is what currently happens if I drop my car off and they find some additional work they think needs to be done.

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